Medical issues are always a bit unnerving, but it can be especially scary when things are going wrong…down there. Because the muscles in your pelvic floor are all tied up with the other organs and tissues in your pelvis, it can be especially difficult to figure out what’s going on.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is defined as the inability to correctly contract and relax the muscles in the pelvic floor, or the muscles that act like a sling to support organs in the pelvis like the bladder, rectum, prostate, uterus, and vagina. Without proper treatment, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to long-term discomfort, colon damage, or even infection.
Thankfully, most kinds of pelvic floor dysfunction can be very effectively treated, as long as you know what it is you’re trying to treat. If you think you might have a serious pelvic problem, a physician is the best person to reach a conclusive diagnosis, but these are a few warning signs to watch out for that could be symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.
It could be a sign of too much cheese in your diet, but trouble with bowel movements could also be a symptom of a damaged pelvic floor. Even if things are, well, moving, if the process is particularly painful or straining, all those muscles down there may not be doing their job.
Hypersensitivity or sharp pains with insertion into the vagina or rectum can be signs of other kinds of pelvic floor dysfunction, where the muscles are actually too wound up and contracted to a point where they’re constricting proper blood flow to necessary areas. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common cause of painful intercourse, especially for women.
The inability to control when you pee is a common indicator of pelvic floor problems, because many of the muscles responsible for maintaining that control are the ones surrounding the bladder. When these muscles become weakened or strained (often in childbirth or simply with age), they are not as effective at maintaining proper urinary control.
Some people have trouble with no. 1, and others have trouble controlling their no. 2’s. Fecal incontinence is the inability to control when stool leaves the body, and usually comes from the same contributing factors as urinary incontinence: weakened or strained muscles in the pelvic floor.
If things are especially twitchy down south, that could be a sign of an unrelenting pelvic floor that refuses to relax.
General pelvic pain
Any kind of sharp, dull, or shooting pains between the hips could be caused by pelvic floor dysfunction, so if you’re having constant or severe discomfort, seek medical attention and get to the bottom (read: floor) of what’s going on.